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Related to noise: noise pollution, Pink noise, white noise, sound

a big noise

An important, successful, or influential person. Did you hear that Kelly got promoted to senior analyst? She's a big noise now.
See also: big, noise

empty vessels make (the) most noise

Foolish, unwise, or stupid people are the most talkative. Of course silly old Aunt Helen babbles constantly—empty vessels make the most noise.
See also: empty, make, most, noise, vessel

empty vessels make the most sound

Unwise people are the most talkative. Of course silly old Aunt Helen babbles constantly—empty vessels make the most sound.
See also: empty, make, most, sound, vessel

make (all) the right noises

To behave as though one is enjoying, supporting of, or enthusiastic about something, even if that is not the case. I hate going to these fundraisers, but I've learned to make the right noises over the years. The senator made all the right noises about the issue last fall, but six months later and she hasn't done a single thing to address it.
See also: make, noise, right

make a noise about (something)

To draw attention to something, as through loud, forceful discussion or complaints. There's a guy at the customer service desk who's been making a noise for the last hour about getting bumped off the flight. We're making an effort in the school to make a noise about bullying, highlighting how far reaching it can be into the lives of students.
See also: make, noise

make noises about (something)

To have a very broad, general discussion about something one might or wants to do, without getting into specific details or plans. He's been making noises about going to art school for years, but so far she hasn't made any steps toward making that happen.
See also: make, noise

Empty vessels make the most sound.

Prov. Foolish people make the most noise. I suspect Amy is not very smart. She chatters constantly, and as they say, empty vessels make the most sound.
See also: empty, make, most, sound, vessel

noise something about

 and noise something abroad; noise something around
to spread around a secret; to gossip something around. Now don't noise it about, but I am going to Houston next week to see my girl. Please don't noise this abroad. Stop noising that gossip around.
See also: noise

make noises

COMMON If you make noises about something you might do, you mention it briefly in a way that is not definite or detailed. Hall has recently been making noises about buying back the club. His mother had started making noises about it being time for him to leave home. Note: Adjectives are sometimes added before noises. He made all sorts of encouraging noises that he would love Scotland to stage the European Championships.
See also: make, noise

make the right noises

If someone makes the right noises about a problem or issue, their remarks suggest that they will deal with the situation in the way that you want them to. The President was making all the right noises about multi-party democracy and human rights. The Labour party certainly made the right noises about transport when they wanted our votes at the last General Election.
See also: make, noise, right

empty vessels make the most sound


empty vessels make the most noise

People say empty vessels make the most sound or empty vessels make the most noise to mean that people who talk a lot and give their opinions a lot are often not very intelligent or talented. There's a lot of truth in that old saying, `Empty vessels make the most sound'. Those who are actually content with their choices are not usually interested in telling the rest of us about them. Note: People like this can be called empty vessels. These `experts' who talk a lot but actually say nothing have been shown up for the empty vessels they are. Note: A vessel is a container such as a jug, pot or jar.
See also: empty, make, most, sound, vessel

empty vessels make most noise (or sound)

those with least wisdom or knowledge are always the most talkative. proverb
Vessel here refers to a hollow container, such as a bowl or cask, rather than a ship.
See also: empty, make, most, noise, vessel

make a noise

speak or act in a way designed to attract a lot of attention or publicity.
See also: make, noise

a big ˈname/ˈnoise


a ˈbig shot

(informal) an important person: ‘What does Ian’s dad do?’ ‘Oh, he’s a big shot in the City.’ OPPOSITE: small fry
See also: big, name, noise

make a (lot of) ˈnoise (about something)

(informal) talk or complain about something a lot: People are making more noise these days about pollution.The unions are making a lot of noise about the new legislation.
See also: make, noise

make ˈnoises (about something)

(informal) show that you are interested in something/in doing something, but not in a direct way: The government has been making noises about listening to the public but it still hasn’t changed any of its policies.She hasn’t exactly said that she wants to change her job but she has been making noises in that direction.
See also: make, noise

make (all) the right ˈnoises

(informal) behave as if you support or agree with something, usually because it is fashionable or to your advantage to do so: The doctors are making the right noises about the reforms to the health service, but I’m not sure that they actually agree with them.
See also: make, noise, right

big noise

1. n. an important person. If you’re such a big noise, why don’t you get this line moving?
2. n. the important current news; the current scandal. There’s a big noise up on Capitol Hill. Something about budget cuts.
See also: big, noise


1. n. empty talk; nonsense. I’ve had enough of your noise. Shut up!
2. n. heroin. (Drugs.) Man, I need some noise now! I hurt!
References in classic literature ?
If, on the contrary, it is a prisoner, the noise I make will alarm him, he will cease, and not begin again until he thinks every one is asleep.
He on the other side of the door naturally heard the noise and greeted it with a triumphant screech: "Aha
When Kerchak came to a halt a short distance from the cabin and discovered that he still held the rifle, he dropped it as he might have dropped a red hot iron, nor did he again attempt to recover it--the noise was too much for his brute nerves; but he was now quite convinced that the terrible stick was quite harmless by itself if left alone.
It was useless, though he tried it, to make the same noise again on his door, and equally useless that he threw the plates and dishes out of the window; not a single sound was heard in recognition.
Then there had been no thoughts of terror, though the jungle noises were new to her, and the roar of a lion had seemed the most awe-inspiring sound upon the great earth.
For a time the man-animals continued to make their mouth- noises.
He switched the next donkey, and made him stop, and then the next, so that gradually the rattling of heels ceased and the awful noise subsided.
As I approached nearer and nearer they frequently made their peculiar noise, which is a low abrupt grunt, not having much actual sound, but rather arising from the sudden expulsion of air: the only noise I know at all like it, is the first hoarse bark of a large dog.
He had scarce finished his story, when a most violent noise shook the whole house.
I see thee deafened with the noise of the great men, and stung all over with the stings of the little ones.
After a short interval of silence the noise burst out again.
She thought that as she sat thus, musing upon the question whether life was not for some people a rather dull invention, she was frightened by a sudden noise behind her.
The speaker appeared to throw a boot-jack, or some such article, at the person he addressed, to rouse him from his slumbers: for the noise of a wooden body, falling violently, was heard; and then an indistinct muttering, as of a man between sleep and awake.
All these strange antics were accompanied by still stranger guttural noises from the devotee, who seemed to be praying in a sing-song or else singing some pagan psalmody or other, during which his face twitched about in the most unnatural manner.
This was followed by such noises and crashings down in the earth that all the King's Palace shook, so that no one expected anything else than to see every bit of it shaken to pieces.